Tuesday, March 05, 2024

Video of Sarum Vespers of St Chad of Mercia

On Friday, March 1st, the chapel of Princeton University hosted the celebration of First Vespers of St Chad of Mercia according to the Use of Sarum, followed by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. This event was organized by Mr James Griffin, executive director of the Durandus Institute for Sacred Liturgy and Music, with the help of a great many people, as you can see in this video of the complete ceremony. This is the second time the Institute has organized a service in the Sarum Rite; the first, on February 1, 2020, was a solemn First Vespers of Candlemas. (I jokingly said to James that I hope this one doesn’t set off another global pandemic.)

As he did with the previous ceremony, Mr Griffin is planning on sharing with us a detailed explanation of the ceremony, which will be accompanied by photos by one of our favorite photographers, Allison Girone, and her associate Regina Jelski. For now, enjoy the video; the texts are given below.

The feast of St Chad is ranked as a “single” feast at Sarum, the equivalent of a semidouble in the Roman system. The psalms and antiphons are therefore taken from the feria, in this case a Friday, with semidoubled antiphons.

Antiphon In conspectu angelorum: * psallam tibi Deus meus. (In the presence of the Angels * will I sing praise to thee, my God.) Psalm 137
Antiphon Domine * probasti me et cognovisti me. (O Lord * thou hast searched me out, and known me.) Psalm 138
Antiphon A viro iniquo * libera me Domine. (From the wicked man * O Lord, preserve me.) Psalm 139
Antiphon Domine clamavi * ad te: et exaudi me. (Lord, I call * upon thee, haste thee unto me.) Psalm 140
Antiphon Portio mea Domine * sit in terra viventium. (Let my portion, O Lord * be in the land of the living.) Psalm 141

This is followed by the Chapter as in the Roman Office, Sirach 44, 17: “ Ecce sacerdos magnus qui in diebus suis placuit Deo et inventus est justus: et in tempore iracundie factus est reconciliatio. (Behold an high priest, who in his days pleased God, and was found righteous, and in the time of wrath he was made a propitiation.”
At First Vespers of all the but the lowest-ranked feasts, most medieval Uses of the Office had one of the prolix responsories from Matins between the chapter and the hymn; at Sarum, this was led by two “the rulers of the choir” wearing silk copes, and standing at the steps of the choir.

R. Miles Christi * gloriose Ceddas sanctissime, Tuo pio interventu, Culpas nostras ablue. V. Ut celestis regni sedem valeamus scandere. Tuo… Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto. Culpas… (Glorious soldier of Christ * most holy Chad, Through thy pious intervention. Cleanse our sins. V. That we may be able to ascend the seat of the heavenly kingdom. Through… Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. Cleanse…)
The hymn Iste Confessor and the versicle Amavit eum which follow are the same as in the Roman Rite, but Sarum had a curious custom by which the response to the versicle was not made audibly. The antiphon at the Magnificat is also semidoubled.
Sis pro nobis, * sancte Cedda, rogamus, ad Dominum: ut nos regat et perducat ad celi palatium: ubi tecum et cum sanctis simus in perpetuum. (Be for us, Saint Chad, we ask, unto the Lord, that He may rule us and lead us to the palace of heaven, where we may be with thee and the Saints for ever.)
Oratio Deus, qui sanctorum tuorum meritis ecclesiam toto orbe diffusam decorasti, presta quaesumus: ut intercessione beatissimi Cedde episcopi et confessoris, in sorte justorum tua opitulate pietate censeamur: per Dominum... (God, who hast adorned the Church, spread through the whole world, with the merits of Thy Saints, grant, we ask, that by the intercession of Thy most blessed bishop and confessor Chad, we may be numbered in the lot of the just by the aid of Thy mercy. Through our Lord...)

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